One of the things I love about traveling around the country is seeing how drastically the landscape changes from one place to another. On the way to Albuquerque we drove through red sandstone slickrock formations and the next day found us rolling through the high, blond plains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
We knew we were getting close to our next destination when we began to see trees and get glimpses of the snow capped Rockies.
We're got to the Pueblo South KOA last night (Colorado City) and were directed to another site with no one on either side. There are plenty of people living here, but they are in another section. The trees around our site are beginning to bud and are filled with birds. They seemed to welcome us to their home.
|a fancy Oriole's nest hangs over Beluga|
They soared and chattered and gave us quite an air show. I pitty any poor butterflies in the area, the Western Kingbirds are ruthless!
We decided to stay two nights here, there is no sense in rushing back to chilly and wet New York State at this point. Taking a break from long distance driving every few days has always been our habit and we don't see any reason to change.
Today we took care of some boring business like vacuuming, cooking a few meals, paying some bills, scraping the bugs off Beluga's nose and customizing the fit and comfort of our face masks.
|rearranging elastic bands|
After all that was done we decided we'd take an hour or so and check out our surroundings. Green Horn Mountain looks down on us here and I at least wanted to get up into the pine trees at it's feet.
We followed SR 165 up into the Wet mountains. At about 8500 feet we came upon pretty Lake Isabel. It was originally created as a reservoir for a large (since closed) steel mill in Pueblo but is now managed by the Forest Service as a recreation area. We've had a low cloud cover all day so the pictures don't do the lake justice.
|nature's camouflage.....see the bird?|
|see him yet?|
|a new-to-us Spotted Sandpiper was spotted working the shoreline|
A few miles up the road we came upon a really cool building! We noticed it because there were 3 cars pulled off the road and we wondered what they were doing. Didn't seem to be any trails into the forest and then we saw it....
It's called Bishop Castle and has been built (is still being built) stone by stone, by one man - Jim Bishop.
The castle is an incredible building, three stories high, built of stone and iron. It even has a fire breathing (a burner from a hot air balloon installed in it's "throat") dragon! This place has to be seen to be believed.
We didn't go inside, though sorely tempted, because there were already a few people exploring there. Darn this virus.....
|the builder juxtaposed lacy ironwork and rough stone|
|gatehouse and drawbridge|
|interesting stone lifting machine|
We spent time outside and vowed that we'll come back to check out the inside next time we're in this area. Mr. Bishop sounds like an "interesting" and talented character. Sprinkled around the site were hand lettered (by him) signs helping us to understand his philosophy of life. Google Bishop Castle, if you're interested!
We were back at Beluga in time for Happy Hour and dinner. In the morning we'll pack up and continue our trip. Next stop - Goodland, Kansas!